Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Difference Between "Trust" and "Respect"

Here is one of the relationship newsletter I always read weekly. Let me share it with you.

Hello Doctor Neder:
I was hoping you could help me by answering my question. I'll give you a brief background first... I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 7 years now. A few times in the past he has met random girls and started to be their friends, they had started to call him and ask him to hang out. When I found this out I thought it was very wrong, I thought that the girls were interested in more than being friends with him and I made him stop because I didn't think it was right.

I trust my boyfriend has never physically cheated on me. I have a hard time trusting that he won't meet someone else and fall for them. So I have been constantly asking him questions seeing if I will "catch him" again. I think that when I ask questions and he responds openly than I don't have anything to worry about, because if he is talking about them than he isn't hiding anything. The problem is that this is really starting to wear on him, and he's frustrated and thinks I don't trust him. He always says, "If I don't trust him than what kind of a relationship do we have?"

My question to you is what can I do to build back my trust? How can I train myself to not be suspicious and always ask questions? I feel that if I don't stop than I could lose him.

PLEASE HELP!

I appreciate any help you can give me.




Hello !

You're right-on with your analysis of trust: it's not at all based on something someone else does. It comes entirely from inside. One example I use is to ask, "Do you 'trust' your boyfriend to pick you up from the airport if he promises?" The answer is obviously, "yes". This is trust just like trusting him to be faithful to his other promises to you is trust. You want to establish a complete trust in each other as your relationship grows; and in fact, as your relationship grows, you'll also learn to trust each other more and more.

BUT...

That's not what's really going on here! Let me ask you this: would HE trust YOU if YOU had guys calling YOU up and inviting YOU out in the same way where HE wasn't invited? I sincerely doubt it!

My dear, this isn't about "trust" at all. It's about respect. Where's the respect on his part if he's going out and hanging with girls you don't know and YOU are not invited? Is that being "respectful" to your relationship? What if you were to go out with guys that invited you? Would you be treating your relationship with him with respect?

Don't confuse the two. Respect and trust are far different things. If you two are really in a relationship together that means that you're a unit. When your boyfriend goes somewhere, you should be invited too. If only one of you are invited, something else is wrong entirely and it's not trust.

Best regards ...

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